Prince Turki Al-Faisal, chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, has emphasized that Saudi Arabia will continue to play a role on the world stage. This conclusion can be drawn from the latest stances adopted by international parties and recent statements by US President Donald Trump recognizing the importance of the kingdom.
Speaking on the sidelines of a dialogue session in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, Turki said that the royal family in the kingdom supports and trusts Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He added that the crown prince will attend the G20 summit in Argentina.
The prince also firmly dismissed the US intelligence assessments that held Saudi Crown Prince responsible in the case of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying these same intelligence bodies had a "remarkably flawed assessment" in 2003 in the lead up to the US invasion of Iraq.
“The CIA is not necessarily the highest standard of veracity or accuracy in assessing situations. The examples of that are a multitude,” Prince Turki said.
He added that the agency’s conclusion that Iraq possessed chemical weapons before the US invasion in 2003 showed it could be unreliable.
“That was the most glaring of inaccurate and wrong assessments, which led to a full-scale war with thousands being killed,” he said, adding that “I don’t see why the CIA is not on trial in the United States. This is my answer to their assessment of who is guilty and who is not and who did what in the consulate in Istanbul.”
Trump has disputed that the agency reached a conclusion, saying instead “they have feelings certain ways.” Trump told reporters in Florida “No no, they didn’t conclude. I’m sorry. No, they didn’t conclude. They did not come to a conclusion. They have feelings in certain ways. I have the report … they have not concluded, I don’t know if anyone’s going to be able to conclude the crown prince did it.”
He added: “I hate the crime, I hate what’s done, I hate the cover-up. I will tell you this: the crown prince hates it more than I do.”